Classic Cheesecake

cheesecakeMy husband requested cheesecake for Christmas Day, and when I asked what kind he said, “Cheesecake”.  According to him there is only one kind of cheesecake and it needs no other adornment or flavoring.  In the spirit of that, this cheesecake recipe is the classic Kraft recipe that you can find on the back of the block of cream cheese.  I baked it in a water bath and it turned out perfectly.


  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 4 blocks cream cheese (8oz each)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 eggs

Strawberry Puree

  • 1 pint fresh strawberries
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the cheesecake, preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter and press into a 9″ springform pan that has been wrapped in foil.  Cream together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth, approximately 3-4 minutes.  Add the eggs one at a time and mix until just incorporated. Pour the mixture into the pan.  For the water bath, place the foil wrapped pan into a roasting pan or large baking pan and add about an 1/2 to 1 inch of boiling water.  This ensures your cheesecake won’t crack. Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until there is only a slight jiggle in the center of the cheesecake.  Take the cheesecake out of the oven and let cool on the counter for about an hour.  Move it to the fridge and let it continue chilling at least 4 hours, or overnight.

For the strawberry puree, combine strawberries, sugar, and vanilla in a saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. The mixture will sizzle for a while, but then juice will begin to form. Continue stirring; mash a few strawberries with a wooden spoon or heat-proof spatula to help produce the syrup. Cook until sauce thickens, about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and use an immersion blender or normal blender to puree about 1/2 of it, leaving some chunks of strawberry.  Store in the refrigerator.